Campus Enterprises Good Idea Fund

The Good Idea Fund “GIF” is a new Campus Enterprise program that provides resources from the Associate Vice Chancellor’s office to fund proposals for improvements to the division’s operations outside the annual budget process.

This program is primarily targeted at supporting ideas for operational improvement from our unit managers, supervisors and their employees supporting or in close contact with our customers. 

All Campus Enterprises employees are eligible to submit ideas for consideration, including temporary and student employees, in their capacity as employees.

Good ideas can and do come from every level of the organization. GIF is designed to recognize that and provide opportunity to all staff to improve the work environment and our services to the university community.

If you have any questions about this program or your proposal, reach out to your supervisor.

What it is, and what it isn’t…

BudgetGood Idea Fund
Larger cost core department expenditures, including capital equipment, construction and renovationsLower cost improvement opportunities between $500 and $5,000 (max. of $10,000)
Unit management, department heads and senior leadershipSupervisors and employees closest to daily operations, workplace conditions and customer service
Part of the annual budget planning cycle of the university systemIdeas that were not considered during budget development or originate from employees that did not have a chance to offer them for consideration during budget planning
Structured and focused on university and state requirements and student fee determinationNimble and flexible ideation support to be inclusive and encouraging of piloting new ideas and exploiting unique current opportunities outside the budget cycle
Budget adjustments impact unit financesProgram does not affect unit budget in the year of award

About Proposals

  • Good idea funds are requested via a standardized online form that provides a set of criteria for effective and fair comparison of proposals. Proposals may include additional supporting materials as necessary. (whatever you believe supports a compelling story for your proposal)
  • Proposals can be developed by an individual or group of up to 4 people.
  • Proposals must be reviewed by the unit manager and director to ensure that the proposal is vetted for operational considerations outside of initial funding.
  • Proposals are limited to no more than $10,000 with a typical range envisioned to be between $500 and $5,000.
  • Good ideas may have short or long term operational benefits whether one-time investments or ongoing program changes that would be incorporated into future budgets.
  • Proposals must be consistent with University policies; this includes regulations and policies around purchasing, potential conflicts of interest and meets the institutions responsibilities for external activities for pay and/or compensation.

Proposal Criteria

GIF Proposals should answer the following operational questions:

  • What is the opportunity or challenge that the proposal is intended to address?
  • What outcomes and benefits are expected if the initiative is successful?
  • What are you proposing to do to achieve success?
  • How will you assess and/or otherwise measure success?
  • Is this a one-time purchase or project opportunity or an ongoing expense / program change?
  • What is your timeline and are there any time constraints?
  • Are there any risks associated with your proposal that could impact your operation negatively should it be unsuccessful, and are there any trade offs with existing operations?

Proposal Funding

Fully cost the proposal considering the investments required and any return on that investment (ROI) that will offset the initial costs. The return on investment does not necessarily need to be directly monetary. Funding criteria should consider:

  • Additional labor? (This program excludes requests for adjustments to individual pay or employee benefits for which there are different vetting and approval process requirements via CE HR.)
  • Equipment, supplies and materials?
  • Partnerships and collaborations within and outside your department, CE and the University?
  • Facility needs?
  • Technology?
  • Outside Vendor Services?
  • Other?

Proposal Evaluation

Proposals are evaluated by a panel of leadership, managers and supervisors representing a breadth of department and organizational perspectives across the division. Review Committee representatives will be finalized with the AVC and his direct reports and will serve for a one year period.

At either the review committee’s or the author’s request, the author(s) may present their good idea to the review committee to further their understanding of the proposal.

All proposals will receive a response from the review committee whether approved for an award or not. Additional information may also be requested before a final decision is made.

A calendar of submission and award dates will be provided for planning purposes.

Criteria for evaluation will include:

Awards and Recognition

Each year up to $50,000 may be awarded to fund GIF proposals. This commitment is to ensure all departments have an opportunity to participate in the program and all employees given the opportunity to participate throughout the year.

  • Authors of awarded proposals will each receive a $50.00 award.
  • Awarded proposals will be featured in Campus Enterprises newsletters.
  • An annual GIF awards reception will be held for all employees submitting proposals. At this event, awarded proposals will be recognized and the GIF proposal of the year announced.